Did an interview the other day

By a random series of coincidences, my man Jonathan Itkobloom brought this Twitter thread to my attention a while ago. I signed up to do an interview and get word of my books to a new corner of the Internet, and network a little bit.

Anyway, after a few nice exchanges the interview went live and here it is!

Author Interview – Andrew Hindle

Go for the fun rambling look at my life and writing process (back in the glory days when I had one, instead of chipping ten words a day out of the adamantium block of my stress and depression), and stay for the cool info about other authors and the world of reviewing and editing.

We now return you to your regular programming.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy. https://hatboy.blog/2013/12/17/metalude-who-are-creepy-and-hatboy/
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95 Responses to Did an interview the other day

  1. That was a fun interview, and epic pictures as always, especially the leading-off one! Thanks for sharing!

    But, I have to complain about something. See, it’s a little known fact that I’m a ketchup lover. Little known until you have one meal with me involving ketchup and you witness the poor whatevers drowning in it before I put them out of their misery, that is.

    And, tomato sauce:

    “Ketchup or Mayo?
    Can’t eat snaggers without tomato sauce, but you can’t eat a noodle burger without mayo.”

    IS NOT the same thing as ketchup! Damn British “English”. Tomato sauce is a whole separate thing, nearly as good, but it ent the same thing!

    Now I’m offended! But that’s good because earlier I was kinda sleepy.

    • stchucky says:

      Sorry, tomato sauce is ketchup. You don’t like it, toss it in a harbour yank.

      Now catsup, I just don’t know about.

    • stchucky says:

      Fun fact, though, tomato sauce and tomato ketchup do have different ingredients. However, Australia has tomato sauce only, and it is tomato ketchup by ingredients. Same as Burger King is Hungry Jack’s over there.

      Now, in Finland, there is ketsuppi. And that’s all. I could have confused the interview still further by saying that, but basically I do not use the word “ketchup”.

      • stchucky says:

        And I’m outraged that this Australian blog did! Must be Eastern Staters, they’re a bit like that…

      • You have now lost me. Actually I had to google “snaggers” as well. And those are to be eaten with mustard.

        And as soon as Australia (or Britain, fucking colonizers) has its own Google you can make up your own results. Until then, America Rules, Piss of Wankers!

      • stchucky says:

        Bwaaahahaha, actually agreed on the snaggers, but it’s gotta be like a spicy mustard, you got any like dijon mustard, somethin’ like that?

      • stchucky says:

        But yeah. The main problem is that to a USian, there is tomato ketchup the condiment, and tomato sauce the sauce, like you would put on spaghetti.

        In Australia, there is tomato sauce the sauce, but also tomato sauce the condiment, and that is what we call ketchup, although there are subtle variations depending on whether you’re using an exotic fancy USian style tomato sauce. You know, it’ll be full of sugar and cornstarch and stuff.


      • Yup spicy brown or dijon, for sure. “Yellow” mustard is for kids. And chumps.

        Is it time yet for me to ask what you have in Finland? Since, that’s like, where you live now and probably will for the forseeable future?

        They differentiate like humans with actual taste buds or nah?

        Oh and back to the language thing, I forgot to mention we speak American over here. We do have our own language, as I know we’ve explained many times. Sheesh.

        (Damon if you’re reading this and shaking your head, this is all inside joking we’re up to now)

        Except the part about America ruling, obviously. I mean look at the news, clearly we are #1.

      • stchucky says:

        Ah, you mean in terms of mustard? In the past decade or so they’ve gotten nice and cosmopolitan about it all, and there’s a good range. However, the main commercial brands are the brown sort you get in a tube, it’s fairly decent.

        Naturally, the best mustard you can get and the only mustard worth using on Finnish sausages (that’s a whole other can of worms, and that’s barely even a metaphor, don’t get me started on Finnish sausages), is home-made from the powder.

        As a side-note, Mr. BRKN makes a mean USian potato salad which is the only place I think yellow mustard is acceptable. The celery salt missing from proper mustard is just the addition the potato salad needs.

      • No I was asking if the Finns, being wise and fair, recognize one needs tomato sauce AND ketchup.

        Mmmm home made powder mustard, awesome.

        Agreed on the potato salad, but also I guess I would say I generally use yellow mustard to marinate with. It’s awesome on a pork loin for example. And I use that because you need a lot and cost becomes a factor.

      • stchucky says:

        Well, the Finns have ketsuppi, like I said, the condiment. I don’t think they have different sorts, although there have increasingly been barbecue-style, hot-style, and different varieties so I guess there might be a distinction somewhere. I’d have to yield the floor on that one.

      • Ah, right, so you did. Well, as long as they have that, I can move there. The Plan is still on.

  2. Damon Holston says:

    Boy, that was riveting.

    Ketchup is meh on most things. I put it on a burger out of habit, but the only time I have to have it is on fresh french fries at the Minnesota State Fair. Not sure why those, I don’t use it on fries from other places often, just at the Fair.
    Mustard on the other hand belongs on everything. The spicy vinegar bite improves almost anything that ketchup would normally be applied to. Even yellow mustard has it’s place on a cheeseburger or shitty hotdog at a sports-ball game.

    Not to increase the controversy (Hatboy may not even be aware of this one), but where do you stand on mayonaise vs. Miracle Whip? (Miracle Whip for the uninformed is a salad “dressing” spread similar to mayo with a sweeter more vinegar bite).
    Since I was born in the South and raised by Southerners I vote Miracle Whip, I have only learned to enjoy mayo in the last 10-15 years. Up here in the Great White North I am derided for even suggesting it is tasty. This will be the real cause of the next Civil War!
    I can provide some stunning 50’s era recipes using Miracle Whip if interested.

    • stchucky says:

      I’ve never had Miracle Whip, it’s not a thing in either Australia or Finland. Mayo has its place on certain burgers. My daughters dip their fries in it but I can’t be having with that.

      I think I have the same thing as you with ketchup / sauce and fries. I go dry with most fries, but some of the chunkier variety demand dipping.

      Once you go through chunky fries and into potato wedges territory, though, only sour cream or Turkish yoghurt will do for dippin’. Mmmmm.

      • Damon Holston says:

        yogurt is also good, especially with some minced garlic and lemon juice, you are correct. I make homemade Labneh from yogurt and crumble it over roasted cauliflower with mint and oregano.

    • Oh I would definitely prefer we had miracle whip over mayonnaise in the house. Unfortunately:
      1. The three other human members of my family (I do have 4 furbabies) disagree with my preference, and
      2. I rarely would use either, preferring to use mustard on the bread instead, on most sandwiches.

      Therefore I lose out and Mayo wins.

      But yeah I love the extra tang in Miracle Whip. Also because of the extra ingredients I believe it has less fat than regular Mayo!

      I will pretend you didn’t say all that crap about Ketchup. In fact I really appreciate being surrounded by people who won’t use up my Ketchup. More for me!

    • stchucky says:

      Please do provide the recipes though! My wife collects recipes and I reckon I can get Miracle Whip from Mr. BRKN.

  3. Damon Holston says:

    Oh yeah, got distracted. The interview was a fun read as well.
    Even the boxers vs. briefs questions.

  4. Damon Holston says:

    Put some leaf lettuce in bowl. Put two canned pear halves on lettuce. Large dollop of Miracle Whip on the pears. Handful of grated cheddar cheese (the pale orange block stuff and not the sharp kind, what are doing trying to kill me?) for garnish.

    Desert in my house growing up.

    • Lettuce, fruit, miracle whip, and cheese together, ser? You are trying to kill Hatboy and I don’t appreciate it one bit.

      Here’s my Miracle Whip recipes: use it instead of Mayo. Easy.

  5. Toon says:

    As a fellow sandgroper ( Western Australian) Hatboy is right on all counts. He just forgot to mention polony and tomato sauce sandwiches. If you didn’t peel one of those off the lid of your school lunchbox on a 40 degree February day as a kid, you haven’t lived. Best part is deliberately repeating the experience for the next generation.

    • stchucky says:

      Ohhhhhh those are the best.

      • Toon says:

        Eating one right now. Wrote my comment and had a craving.
        P.S. in the politest possible way, what the fuck is miracle whip and orange cheese?

      • stchucky says:

        That’s some USian shit that the civilised world doesn’t understand 😀

        I’ve encountered fairly orange cheesey stuff in macaroni and cheese available on the American Shelf at some supermarkets here in Finland. Other than that, I will leave it to my esteemed USian associates to explain.

        I always thought Miracle Whip was more like whipped cream in a can, but apparently it’s more savoury and mayonnaise-like?

      • Toon says:

        I’ll await with interest to learn from them how that could possibly constitute a dessert…. I’ll also await the perfectly reasonable what the fuck is polony question from the USians. In anticipation, it’s the pigs and cows foreskins and eyelids swept up off the abattoir floor together with the sawdust, and shrink wrapped in a red plastic roll. It’s how little Sandgropers learn to be respectful and eat the whole of the dead animal, without being actually told it’s offal. Am I right, Hatboy?

      • stchucky says:

        Yes, all of this is entirely accurate. In Finland it’s called something like “liver sausage” because they put actual known organs in it due to EU regulations. I think in the US it’s called baloney? I mean that also means “nonsense” but W Bush did famously say he loved a good baloney sandwich. I rest my exhaustively researched case.

      • stchucky says:

        Follow-up: Actually they spell it “bologna” when referring to the food. But it’s still said the same. Homophone.

        Polony is apparently a British thing, which explains why it’s also an Australian thing.

      • Toon says:

        Well who would have thought I’d learn so many things this afternoon just following your link to your blog from the kate foster website? It seems to circle back to the original issue though – I notice on the dictionary page USians eat their bologna with mustard, not tomato sauce.

      • stchucky says:

        It’s nice when the Internet provides useful and enriching information, isn’t it?

      • Damon Holston says:

        Schwoo, this has taken on a life of it’s own. To answer a few of the questions posed:

        When I said orange cheese I was referring to a block of mass produced mild Cheddar cheese, nothing aged or sharp. The powder in Macaroni and cheese or something like Velveeta, Cheez Whiz and American singles wouldn’t work on this lovely desert. They have their own gross (but delicious) places in the pantheon of processed cheese.

        Next, Miracle Whip:
        Mayo (Hellman’s, Duke, what have you) is like your boring parents and Miracle Whip is like their cool, edgy sibling that slipped you your first cigarette. One of them will keep you clothed and fed, but the other one will get you laid.

        Bologna is foul no matter how you spell it or what backwater country you are from. No amount of mustard, be it yellow, brown, etc. makes that shit taste good. Mortadella is the only acceptable version of Bologna in existence. Cocktail wieners (I assume those are the small canned sausages Hatboy was referring to) may actually be worse than bologna.

        Brknwntr is absolutely correct regarding cheeseburgers. Nothing else is needed outside of the ingredients they listed.

        Toon makes 40 degrees in February sound awful, where I am from that would downright balmy for that time of year…..Oh wait, is that the metric system? In that case 40 sounds oppressive.

        After reading about some of the “food” that is consumed in Finland and Australia I find the use of USian derogatory when describing our rich and vibrant food culture. Our use of science to develop processed food products shows the enlightenment inherent in our culture and proves the doctrine of Manifest Destiny and American Exceptionalism.

      • This paragraph right here:

        “After reading about some of the “food” that is consumed in Finland and Australia I find the use of USian derogatory when describing our rich and vibrant food culture. Our use of science to develop processed food products shows the enlightenment inherent in our culture and proves the doctrine of Manifest Destiny and American Exceptionalism.”

        Completes Damon’s application to the Monkeyhouse and all later incarnations, proving once and for all that he is ONE OF US…ONE OF US…ONE OF US….

        And by US of course I mean the U. S. of A. Greatest country in the middle of North America. Destroyer of Worlds. Also World Police! Nobody move!

  6. brknwntr says:

    OK, this was quite a read through. I think I can touch on all the salient points though.

    Ketchup is a TYPE of sauce, and can be made out of damn near anything. The US primarily has it made of tomatoes, to the point that ketchup is used to refer to tomato ketchup, but it’s also commonly made from mushrooms or oysters. Usually by weird cunts from the East Coast. As a side note, I find it telling that the weird ones always live on the eastern shores.

    I eat Tomato Ketchup on french fries if the fries are positively bland or old. Otherwise you can miss me with that shit.

    I use brown mustards for cooking, or for wurst style sausages. But otherwise I prefer yellow mustard. Especially on hotdogs. Or a pork sandwich, I find the vinegar of yellow mustard just goes better with the flavor and fattiness of pork.

    On the topic of Finnish sausages, or ANY non wurst style sausage sold outside of America. Sausages or hot dogs which contain only 80% meat are for children. 100% beef hotdogs are king. Anything less than 80% is a dog snack. I don’t even feed finish sausages to my dogs, with the exception of one brand of nakki.

    Cheeseburgers should be eaten with mustard onion and pickle. But that’s cause this great place I went to since I was old enough to have a cheese burger only ever had those three condiments. They started offering other condiments a couple years ago, and people complained, so they stopped again. They only exceptions to this is if you are doing a bacon cheese burger, at which point you use mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard.

    As a side note, I only eat French’s yellow mustard. All other yellow mustard are garbage.

    On to mayo, Miracle Whip, and Mayonnaise.

    The only good mayonnaise is Hellman’s. I will fight you.

    Mayo IS mayonnaise, but brands marked mayo generally use more sugar and are intended to be a salad dressing not a sandwich condiment. Mayonnaise should only be eaten on a sandwich or in potato salad. Miracle whip is garbage and should be used as a psychopath test.

    Bologna may contain liver, but usually tastes more like a giant hotdog. It’s good with mustard and cheese. It’s disgusting warm.

    What we in the US consider to be a liver sausage is what you call liver pate. And is DELICIOUS with fresh onions on a bagel.

    • stchucky says:

      Ah! Excellent points. Agreed on Hellman’s mayonnaise, although I really should ask my dad about the recipe for “cludge mayonnaise” that his mother used to make (and I believe my auntie still does). That shit was good.

      Funny you should mention mushroom ketchup, you’re quite right – Mrs. Hatboy found a bottle of it at some fancy food store or other and we occasionally use it in cooking. It adds a nice flavour to some sauces and soups where I might otherwise be tempted to use soy, beef stock (fondi) or Worcestershire sauce, but all of those really just amount to salt with extra steps, to paraphrase Rick and Morty.

  7. brknwntr says:

    As a side note for Aaron, the reason
    Finnish hotdogs are so bad is that they usually contain like 35-40% meat. The rest is flour. British sausages are even worse and if you ever visit… just don’t even bother. The content is so low that bacteria grows on them seven times slower than it does on any other surface known to man. We call them Hotdog Years.

    • stchucky says:

      Bwaaahahahahahaha *hides*

      No but seriously, I never thought British sausages were worse. They always seem to have more meat than the HK and Kabanossi varieties. At least they’re not pre-cooked.

      • brknwntr says:

        Possibly, I’ve never bought them in a shop. Only had them in pubs as part of a Full English.

      • stchucky says:

        In pubs in the UK or here or both? I mean, they’re probably bad anyway, the key ingredient of a Full English is a hangover.

      • brknwntr says:

        In the UK. I admit to being sausage snobby though, since I make my own.

      • stchucky says:

        I didn’t even know you could buy “British” sausages in a shop. In Australia, they’re just called “sausages”.

      • Toon says:

        Hatboy is correct again. In Australia they are indeed all just sausages and I’ve never heard of a thing called sausage snobbery. Well, I have, it’s just, you know, the people who bring their own steak to a bbq…

      • stchucky says:

        I mean, in Australia there’s sausages that you buy at a butchers (or the deli section of the supermarket) and then the red cocktail weenies that are amazing in a whole other way but – and this I cannot stress enough – aren’t sausages in any way.

  8. Toon says:

    Oh yeah, I didn’t count red sausages. They’re really just the sausage version of polony though, made of eyelids, foreskins, udders etc etc. Delicious in their own special kids party food way and again – only to be eaten with tomato sauce. (And fairy bread).

    • stchucky says:


      Party pies, sausage rolls, red sossies, fairy bread.

      I should have been packing to fly to Australia this weekend, you know. Fucking pandemic.

      • Toon says:

        Weather’s shit in Perth if that is where you were heading. You haven’t missed out. Why were you coming out in winter? Who does that? Or were you heading up north?

      • stchucky says:

        Well, this time of year is when we get a long summer holiday (school and work) in Finland so that’s when we travel. In the past 20 years I’d say I’ve been back to Australia twice in winter (uh, summer) because Christmas is a difficult time to get more than a couple of weeks off work.

        It’s okay though, I just started a new job so had no holidays saved up. I would have been looking at a month with no pay, which would kind of have sucked. At least this way I get to go next year (hopefully!) on full pay.

      • Toon says:

        Aah. Fair enough. And I suppose our winters aren’t actually that shit as far as global weather goes… but at least if you have to wait another year you’ll not only be on full pay but hopefully there’ll actually be less Western Australians around than now because they’ll have all fucked off to Bali on holiday.

      • stchucky says:

        Agreed! Yeah, I enjoy the thunderstorms and rain myself, and with temperatures in the 10-20°C range it’s pretty much like summer in Finland.

        Mind you, absence making the heart grow fonder is definitely a thing, and the last time we went to Australia (Christmas 2018?) I definitely enjoyed the heat more than I remembered enjoying it previously. I mean, it was a mild summer of 25-35°C while we were there, and we were down in Margaret River for a lot of it, but I have hated the heat since around the time I became a teenager. Loved it as a kid, as my skin cancer will attest. But really only enjoyed it for the novelty the last time around, and another few years of visiting in the winter will do me.

      • Toon says:

        Yeah our summer sun is definitely not kind. Sounds like winter is the go! We’ve tended to head inland north in the winter holidays in recent years (so can go camping) but have also had excellent winter breaks down south around Denmark/Walpole in the past…can find something to everyone’s taste here, it’s a big place…

      • OK Hatboy and Toon need to stop posting when they are hungry, obviously.

      • stchucky says:

        That’s my secret, Cap…

  9. Damon Holston says:

    post fail. I thought I was posting down here, but instead it’s back up a ways.

    • stchucky says:

      WordPress has considerable trouble once comment threads reach high double to triple digits. This is … a thing we encounter frequently on the Hatstand. Where discourse is king.

    • Toon says:

      Thanks for all the info, and particularly the recipe link with the photo Damon. I’ve learnt so much! The colour of that cheese is scary though. There’s just no getting away from that.
      40 degrees Celsius. Not oppressive, it’s a dry heat. That’s what all Perth people are trained from birth to say. Ask Hatboy. We clearly had the same childhood from our food references.
      Um no, not tinned cocktail sausages. Red sausages. I’m not sure I can explain. I’m not sure you’d want to know once you get over the age of about 9….excellent on a picnic kept in a thermos of hot water where the water turns red from the leaking of all those lovely nutrients.
      I did have a wander past the American shelf in our local supermarket to see if I could spot miracle whip. For the record, there were pop tarts, big league chewing gum, lots of different barbecue sauces and hot sauces, some really hot flavour of cheetos with flames on the package, and some boxes of very expensive breakfast cereal that looked like they were made exclusively of biscuits or lollies (lucky charms? Oreo? Cinnamon crunch?) No fibre. Or miracle whip for that matter. Are we being dudded about American food here in Western Australia?

  10. Damon Holston says:

    Glad to expand your desert salad horizons. I really do have fond memories of eating that growing up.
    Center of the aisle groceries are pretty bad in most places and junk food is bad (or good. But really. Bad) the world over. The “American shelf” made me do a double take, I never considered that we would be “ethnic” in other countries, not sure I would bother stocking that garbage if I owned a store. I’m sure expats appreciate it even if in private they would admit it was garbage.

    Notated for future reference
    – For the record, there were pop tarts (GROSS), big league chewing gum (GROSS), lots of different barbecue sauces (PROBABLY GROSS) and hot sauces (PROBABLY AWESOME, DEPENDS WHAT THEY ARE), some really hot flavour of cheetos with flames on the package (FLAMIN’ HOT CHEETOS ARE ADDICTIVE AND MAKE YOU POOP FLAMES. TOTALLY WORTH IT!), and some boxes of very expensive breakfast cereal that looked like they were made exclusively of biscuits or lollies (lucky charms? Oreo? Cinnamon crunch?) (SUGARY CEREAL IS ALSO GROSS, EXCEPT FOR FROSTED FLAKES)


      • stchucky says:

        Can I just add, next time a darn lefty libtard SJW fronts up to me and says “white culture doesn’t exist,” I’m going to just point them in the direction of this comment section and say “oh really, sweaty?”

        (the “sweaty” is part of the joke, don’t ask me to explain because the Internet is a baffling place, that’s why)

    • stchucky says:

      The American Shelf used to be the only place in Finland you could get crunchy peanut butter. Now, all the big mall supermarkets have it. And yes, that still means most grocery stores don’t.

      The main problem with Cheetos here is that they’re like €8 a bag, it’s cheaper to wait for a friend to go to the US and come back using a bunch of them as packing material in their suitcase.

      And I do recall the American Store (as distinct from the American Shelf, there is a full-on shop for this in Helsinki) having a few boxes of Ore-os, the breakfast cereal that was made of tiny Oreo cookies. It was … an abomination unto Nuggan.

      • Toon says:

        So what’s your view on Red Rooster cheesy nuggets Hatboy? That’s the test of whether you’re really still a true Sandgroper.

      • stchucky says:

        Oh, Red Rooster is the alpha and omega of fast food. Last time we were over, I celebrated my brother’s 50th birthday by buying a big ol’ RR feast. My kids, who have never had any nuggies but MacDonald’s, fell in love with the cheesy nugs and that, I have to admit, was an act of cruelty because we all knew it was going to be a long time before they got them again.

        Always, and most consistently, my go-to when we visit. I used to have Hungries on the list but since Finland got Burger King I don’t crave it so much. I also used to have KFC on there, but KFC has sort of fallen off my foodar at this point. It’s Red Rooster for nuggies and chips, Chicken Treat for chicken rolls, and of course the classic fish & chips that you can really only get in Finland at very exclusive places – and it’s never done right.

        And flavoured milks. Don’t even get me started on flavoured milks. Over here it’s like the old Ford joke. You can have any flavour you like, as long as it’s chocolate.

      • Toon says:

        You pass the test with flying colours! That was a little bit cruel to tease your kids with a taster but at least they know what they’re missing. What’s the story with only chocolate milk in Finland? So no spearmint? Strawberry? Banana? What about all the different cartons of iced coffees? I think you’ve identified a massive gap in the market. You best get busy earning a fortune….
        I hear Finland is vastly superior to Australia with their education system, health care, ability to speak multiple languages, new mother and baby care packages and pretty much everything else you care to mention (except weather) but I note no journalist has EVER raised Finland’s distinct failings in regards to cheesy nuggets and flavoured milks to my knowledge. Nice to know it kind of balances things out.

      • stchucky says:

        Well. Starbucks has begun to come in with different iced coffee flavours, including some mint. And it is possible to get strawberry, or the unholy Frankenstein’s Monster that is choco-strawberry, in milkshake and powdered form. But proper coffee chill, no. And spearmint, no.

        For a few years, I actually had a thumpin’ big bottle of spearmint milkshake syrup that a friend shipped me via New Zealand. I could mix it with milk and get my fix. That got me through the first decade as an immigrant here. Now, I just grit my teeth and set my sights on the calendar date I can fly over again.

        There is a big lapse in the food and drink situation here. We have franchise bar-restaurants called The Woolshed which serves a decent fry-up, and a bar called the Aussie Bar which occasionally does proper meat pies (meat pies do not exist here; the closest they get is a lump of doughnut batter filled with rice and mince, and fried … great for a hangover, but – and I cannot stress this enough – not a pie) and fish and chips, but they did admit (after asking me for an ex-pat’s opinion) that cost and EU regulations prevented them from making fish and chips with the right quantities of grease, fat, and gummy shark.

        For pies, I have had to befriend the local Scottish community and steer them in the direction of just making pies and deep-frying stuff. I was so wildly successful at this that I am now the Vice Chairman of the Finnish Scottish Society.

        There is definitely room in the Australian restaurant / foodie sphere in Finland for proper chicken fast food, proper flavoured milks, and proper pies. A more enterprising man than I would do something with that gaping commercial and culinary void.

        But yeah. Come for the beautiful Finnish ladies, stay because you marry one and realise you’ll never afford to put your kids through school and pay their medical bills anywhere else.

      • Toon says:

        Aaron’s going to accuse us of posting when we’re hungry again.

      • stchucky says:

        I was literally eating lunch while writing this stuff. I still want nugs.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Damnit now i can’t but you both were, admit it. Hatboy already did….

      • Toon says:

        You’re gonna be wanting cheesy nuggets, spearmint milk and a Mrs Mac’s meat pie with tomato sauce (sauce carefully smeared all across the top of the pie with your finger in swirls) for the next year. Sorry dude.

      • stchucky says:

        To paraphrase Phillip Fry, while I don’t regret the Kate Foster interview that brought you into my life, I both rue and lament it.

      • Toon says:

        It was your additional comment about the bunfight over ketchup and tomato sauce on your blog that intrigued me. I had always wondered. You should probably just regret posting that comment. That would be very fair.
        Are the USians up yet? They miss out on everything being asleep….

      • stchucky says:

        Ha! Everything is always fine on the Hatstand right up until I post exactly the wrong comment (and apparently the same goes for my comments on other people’s blogs). You have clearly understood this in almost record time.

  11. Damon Holston says:

    u up?

  12. Damon Holston says:

    This is not meant to be a condemnation of any of you or to make me out to be a superior individual, but I can’t remember the last time I had any fast food. When I was in my twenties I found myself eating it frequently because there wasn’t much else available near where I worked that i could afford. After doing this for a few years I made the decision to avoid it whenever possible. Since that time I have eaten it occasionally, mostly when traveling and options are limited, but the more time away the more fond the memories become. But then I eat it and am reminded how mediocre most of it is. Of course some of the items still taste pretty good. As a whole though, it is not something I crave any longer.

    • stchucky says:

      It’s a weird thing, in Australia and even more so in Finland, fast food is not the cheap alternative. It’s almost as expensive as eating at a restaurant, depending on the restaurant and how much you order of course.

      I think it’s a question of buying good ingredients and paying the workers well, which … let’s face it, not a big deal in the US.

      But yeah, we go to McDonald’s once or twice a month. For the kids. And me. Other than that, there’s not much fast food to be had in this neck of the (literal) woods. We do get pizza or Nepalese or Chinese or sushi takeout from time to time but that’s a slightly different thing to fast food.

  13. Damon Holston says:

    Take-out is definitely different. We get that often (too often at times). Both my wife and I enjoy cooking and alternate weeks planning and cooking dinners. We have vibrant Southeast Asian, East African, and Hispanic populations so there are many ethnic grocery stores to get authentic ingredients (and junk food) easily. I have worked as a fishmonger for twenty years so we have access to fresh seafood to go with a strong local farming community and many artisan products from the surrounding areas. Like, we can get prosciutto from Iowa that is every bit as good as the real Italian stuff for a fraction of the cost and smaller carbon footprint.

    Not sure I follow. “I think it’s a question of buying good ingredients and paying the workers well, which … let’s face it, not a big deal in the US.” Are you saying we use good ingredients and pay workers in the US? Cause we don’t. I think you are saying we don’t and that is why it is cheap here. That is true.

    There is an article on medium.com written by a purported ex-cop that is worth a read. I realize this is the food thread and not the politics thread so admin can boot me if they want. No paywall.

    View at Medium.com

    Any ideas for another food vs. controversy?

    • stchucky says:

      me bill Aye, fast food here in Finland is expensive because there are regulations about food content and workers get decent pay. I’m very glad it’s expensive, for selfish reasons as well. If it was cheap, I’d probably buy it more.

      Will have to check the link in a bit, Mr. BRKN will yell at me if his food thread turns political (long story).

      Very cool to hear about your culinary background and the possibilities around your place. Love the ol’ ethnic food shops myself, always great produce for a good price. I’ve got hunters among my family and friends, so we always have a good supply of deer and hare and assorted other meats. And we’ll be well taken care of when civilisation collapses. I just have to find some way of making myself useful when that happens.

      • stchucky says:

        I’m not sure why WordPress decided to put “me bill” at the front of this message, it may have happened in my pocket. But it’s funny so I’ll allow it.

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      Ditto on fast food for me. Only on trips when in a rush and when the girls want it, both things at once i mean.

      Ethiopian food is the best food on the planet. Fight me.

    • stchucky says:

      Thanks for the link! It’s been going the rounds on Facebook too, good to see. Here’s one from a friend in Seattle (not actually her article, but she cosigned a message to all her Finnish friends saying she was fine, it’s peaceful and civilised right now).

    • stchucky says:

      And we don’t banhammer or mediate here. At the Hatstand we believe in free speech. If the speech you make is shit, we’ll break it up with a stick and flush it in remorseless installments in the toilet just off the marketplace of ideas, but that’s not at risk of happening here.

  14. Damon Holston says:

    Not sure I agree about Ethiopian food. I need to give it another try. Mostly I didn’t like injera when I tried it as a child. The pulse and dal stews are good. Tacos and Vietnamese/Lao/Cambodian/Hmong/Thai is my favorite. Oh, and Northern African. And Peruvian. and and and…
    Really most anything from sub-tropical countries.
    Basically, I like food.

    • Toon says:

      Rightio. It seems I underestimated America’s level of exoticism in an Australian Supermarket. There are actually 3 American shelves. Please feel free to educate me as to their edibility. I haven’t tried any of these, and some of them might actually kill me if I did.
      There is also –
      A variety of Herrs flavoured cheese curls (buffalo blue cheese (??) jalapeño and nacho cheese)
      Marshmallow Fluff. This one claimed to be fat and cholesterol free and invited me to try a “fluffernutter sandwich”. Looked scarier than Damon’s unnaturally orange-coloured cheese. Is this a special Halloween food?
      A1 original sauce. No clue.
      In terms of hot sauces, Frank’s red hot (original and buffalo wings), Louisiana’s pure crystal hot sauce and something labelled sriracha not chilli sauce. That was what it was called. Mystifying. Go for it USians. Not sure if Mr BRKN is American or Finnish. He seems to have views though.

      • brknwntr says:

        Louisiana’s hot sauce is good, use sparingly until you know how much you like. Louisiana sauces are more vinegar based than tomato based, so they tend to disperse flavor more equally than you would expect. You make a dish spicy with that, the WHOLE dish will be spicy. A1is a steak sauce. Proper steak should not have sauce of course, but it’s quite good on steak fries.

      • Toon says:

        Thank you. Always curious but even with Western Australia’s currently very low coronavirus levels I would not stand in a supermarket idly taking items off a shelf to just look at and put back. We tend to make our own hot sauce in our house (despite having a laugh with Hatboy in previous posts, we do actually generally cook at home with fresh ingredients) but do occasionally buy a commercially made hot sauce, the Louisiana sauce sounds worth a try.

      • stchucky says:

        This has been such a wholesome (albeit possibly not fantastically healthy) thread, I will definitely have to get some photos of random Finnish culinary life and make some more posts about it. These are the things that unify us.

      • Damon Holston says:

        Siracha is the go-to sauce for Vietnamese (and other Southeast Asian) foods. Goes in Pho, on Bun, Bahn Mi, etc. It is made in California from over-ripe red jalapenos hence the green top and red bottle. No fridge or table is complete without it. Huy Fong brand (has a rooster on the label) is the gold-standard. It can literally go on anything.

        I can only recommend marshmallow fluff on a guilty pleasure level. It is just super sweet spreadable marshmallow.

      • Toon says:

        Thanks Damon. I realised afterwards what it was and where I’d eaten it before, but didn’t like to take the bottle off the shelf to look closely, so thought it was a uniquely American food thing, as opposed to being made in America. Luckily we have some excellent Asian food available around here.
        The marshmallow fluff still scares me a little bit. I think I’ll just have to take your word for it. Just in case I get sufficiently curious though – spread on white bread? With anything else or on its own? Most people everywhere in the world seem to take issue with vegemite but eaten in the correct butter to vegemite ratio as a spread it’s delicious, or eaten thinly spread on a grilled cheese toastie (a Vegemite cheesie) or spread on a tortilla wrap with avocado and feta… first time eaters spooning it out of a jar like it’s Nutella are just asking for tastebud trouble. There may always be a correct and potentially delicious way of eating these things, you never know if you don’t ask the locals.

      • stchucky says:

        I fought a very brief losing battle about Vegemite here in Finland, nobody likes it so now I just have a little jar (or in modern days tube) for comfort food or eating when I’m not feeling well (it was a go-to for when I was sick as a kid), and when we eat poached eggs. I will not eat a poached egg without Vegemite on the toast.

      • Toon says:

        Nobody? In the whole of Finland? C’mon Hatboy you can do better than that. Clearly they need cheering up a bit if there’s no Happy Little Vegemites in the entire nation. Cut a bread roll in half. Mash up grated cheese and a splash of milk in a bowl with a fork until it’s a gloopy paste. Spread the gloopy paste on the top of each half roll. Put them under the griller to toast the cheese. When they are toasted, spread the tiniest amount of vegemite over the cheese. So thinly they can’t even distinguish the brown of the vegemite from the toasted cheesie milky yumminess. Give to people on a cold winters night after they’ve had a few drinks. “Oh! Yum! Crusty! Cheesie! And ever so slightly yummily salty! How did you make these Hatboy? They’re delicious! What’s your secret ingredient?”
        And you never ever tell them it’s vegemite. You just keep secretly feeding them the happiest source of vitamin B in the world. It’s a service to humanity.
        By the way, out of interest, what’s your greatest number of comments on your blog? Is this thread getting somewhere near it?

      • stchucky says:

        I confess, I hyperbolise a little. I semi-regularly bring Vegemite sandwiches to my workmates in the place of farewell / birthday / special event cake, because y’know, the song. They know the song. And usually they admit (because like you say, I make them right) that it’s pretty tasty although they couldn’t eat a lot of them. No kidding! You’re not meant to! Humans can only have so much vitamin B before they turn into super-villains. And nobody wants that in combination with Finnish stubbornness.

        Also my mother-in-law claims it’s alright.

        I’m gonna have to try that toastie idea though. Never tried it like that, that sounds amazing.

        Now as to comment counts, our Star Wars debates (and some other movies, not to mention some of the more heated political debates) routinely get up around 100 comments but that’s about as high as we’ve gotten. So this post is definitely hitting the heights.

      • stchucky says:

        In fact with this comment, the “Did an interview” post has officially drawn neck and neck with “Gutless”.

      • Toon says:

        I learnt that recipe in primary school watching the canteen lady with great concentration because her cheesies were better than my mum’s. Glad I stole her intellectual property because I did look on the internet to see if it was a proper recipe but I couldn’t find one similar. Definitely try it. You won’t go back. I also may have eaten a bit too much vitamin B as a child. According to your theory, that would explain certain villainous qualities. Not interesting comic book super villain ones, just run of the mill ate too much vegemite as a kid (and now as a semi-adult) ones. It would explain a bit.

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